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Hakuba Sanzan

September 15th, 2014

 

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Unless you’ve been living under a very big rock, you’ve heard the tales of Japan’s surreal terrain, neck deep powder on tap — day or night. The hype was buzzing extra strong this season and we were itching to go get a taste of it one way or another. When the plans finally took shape, it was May! Not exactly the prime month for free refills of pow, but if we didn’t pounce on the trip this year, it might have never happened, right? So we went with the flow and booked a ticket.

Touchdown Narita airport where the culture shock began. In a bustling world far from home, we circled through security not once but twice, but it worked out for the better. Our extra lap bumped us right into a Japanese snowboarder wearing a Canada toque, fresh off a winter in Canmore. Turns out our new friend Yuske (last name), local snowboard legend, also rode a G3 split and represented the Caravan crew we were trying to meet. Off to a good start. Yuske led us and our bulky bags through the maze of Tokyo train systems to a meet up with the Caravan crew, G3′s Japan distributors. After food, drinks, and a classic night in a ‘capsule’, we were eager to escape the bustling city for the mountains. Our bus to Hakuba pushed us upstream through nonstop currents of cities and people in constant motion before dropping us at the source…the mountains.

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A world apart, we found mountains quite reminiscent of our Coast Mountains back at home, with multi-peak linkups just waiting to be skied. After a week of fun, we were ready for the bigger days. Fortunately our pension owner in Gakuei-kan was an instructor, guide and pro back in his day, with a wealth of Japanese ski touring history to share with us, shaping ideas for where to head next. The plan hatched for the Hakuba Sanzan, linking the 3 highest peaks in Hakuba in a day.

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Meeting at precisely 6:00am on his orders, we hopped in the van and headed up with a vengeance. With only a brief pause before the off-road section, he pinned it and we held on for the ride. This wasn’t his first rodeo. Even the river wouldn’t have stopped him but we insisted on saving his car (and us for that matter), so we jumped out and let our feet do the rest. Most people enjoy the luxury of a 2 day trip with a mountain lodge overnight stay, but with our fine thread budget it wasn’t an option. So we slogged in the spring heat and enjoyed it for all it was worth, transition after transition – hike, skin, ski, repeat.
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But even we were hardly roughing it. With a cafe 500 ft from the last summit, we couldn’t say no to a soup and coffee before bagging the last peak. Solid weather, fun skiing, and our unstoppable shuttle driver all made for a great trifecta of the three high peaks of Hakuba.
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With one amazing Japan ski trip in the bag, we’re already plotting a mid-winter return for the legendary winter conditions. With any luck we’ll once again land in the hands of friendly,  seasoned locals, and the powder refills will flow as constantly as the sake from our first night in Tokyo.
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Story: Andy Traslin
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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, photos, Snowsports, Travel , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PCT Days: Celebrating the Trail of the West!

September 4th, 2014

PCT Days PosterThe 8th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days takes place in Cascade Locks, Oregon, which is surrounded by the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and where the Pacific Crest Trail offers access to some of the most beautiful scenery in Pacific Northwest.

Osprey Packs will be returning to the annual PCT Days to celebrate one of our nations most prominent trails on the West-Coast!  From September 5th through the 7th, people from all corners of the North West will come to visit with old and new friends, check out the latest outdoor products and gear, participate in classes and activities, listen to music & watch movies, and celebrate the past, present and future of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Event Website:  http://oviewfinder.com/

Event FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/pctdays

Twitter: #pctdays

This weekend will include something for everyone such as the Gear Fair, Free Classes, Trail Work Parties, and a film/slideshow celebrating the PCT!

 

For a complete list of all PCT Days events please visit the website.woodemblem1

Don’t forget to drop by our Osprey booth as we will be offering some great freebies, pack repairs, solid high-fives, laughs and even a few of chances to win one of our packs!

Check out what we will have going on:

Fall 2014 Pack Display- We will be displaying our Backpack specific line so that you may see the fit and functional difference that sets Osprey apart from the rest!  Stop by the booth to talk with one of our staff about which pack may be right for you. For our full product line visit our website.

The Osprey Packs Fit Gurus- Come experience the customized fit and functionality Osprey Packs is known for! Have questions or need to get sized for your next adventure- no problem! Swing by the booth as we will have our fit experts ready for any questions or suggestions you may have!

20% off with Next Adventure- If you have been thinking of getting an Osprey and had all your questions answered at our booth, the wait is over! Our retailer partner Next Adventure will be at the event, offering 20% off all Osprey product in celebration of  PCT days! Osprey has strategically placed our tent across from Next Adventure so you can see the selection of Osprey packs they have at the event and make your purchase on the spot! 

PCT Event Survey- Take our three-minute event survey and automatically be entered win a new Osprey pack — We will have daily winners throughout the PCT days!

Bola-Ball Fundraiser- We want to give back to the non-profit who is making this event possible, the Pacific Crest Trail Association! Stop by and try your luck at our Bola-Ball game in which you could win an Osprey hat, shirt, or even a pack! All proceeds benefit the trail and PCTA which makes it all possible!

Best Freebies this side of the Mississippi- This is no joke! Don’t forget to load up on Osprey Chapstick, Backcountry repair kits, stickers and coozies as we spread the #Ospreylove!

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Backpacking, causes, Conservation, Events, Non-profits, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Pacific Crest Trail, Uncategorized , , , , , , ,

The Desert Dawg Trail

August 27th, 2014

Our friend Ace Kvale is one of the world’s top adventure photographers. For over 30 years his action photos, striking portraits and stunning landscapes have captured the essence of wild places and diverse cultures in the far corners of the globe. Recently, Ace has used photography as an opportunity to raise consciousness. Through his latest work with vanishing cultures and international philanthropic organizations, he’s discovered new inspiration and purpose by using his skills to help people at risk. He specializes in cultural, documentary, travel and outdoor adventure photography.

 

Desert Dawg 1 Osprey Packs

The Desert Dawg Trail

 

In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll begin to see something, maybe. Probably not.

–Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Desert Dawg 2 Osprey Packs

The first time I read those words I was living in a small cabin in the woods in the San Juan mountains of Colorado. I’ve never forgotten them. Ed Abbey left a huge impression on me. Since then I’ve been lucky to travel, ski, climb and photograph on six continents. From mountains in Tibet to rivers in Alaska I’ve been one lucky dude.

But the words of Ed Abbey have always held a grip on me. Hundreds of desert climbing trips have in no way extinguished my insatiable curiosity for the beauty of the canyon wilderness. That’s the thing right there. Wilderness. That’s the word. So simple.

Glamping. Wtf? Seriously? Yet it exists. The other day I saw a piece on the best iPhone apps for camping. No shit. But, to be totally honest I have an iPhone. I have the topo maps app with all the maps I need downloaded in it. I can press a few buttons and have my position pinpointed with incredible accuracy. It tells me right where I am on the map I’m holding in my sweaty hand. You are here. Awesome.

Read more…

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Guest post, Hiking, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From the Mind of an Osprey Eclipse

July 24th, 2014

Born in Cortez, CO, Jason Boblitt has been part of the Osprey Packs team for over 8 years. In 2006 Jason got his start in the Osprey warehouse and focused primarily on Quality Inspection projects. In 2008, Jason switched to shipping and Quality Assurance before joining the Quality and Returns team in 2010, where he still works. When Jason isn’t delivering on Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee, he loves to spend his time backpacking, traveling, drawing and sewing. This is the story of Jason’s trusty Osprey Eclipse pack.

photoFor years now, I have sat in that dusty garage waiting for the day when my owner would throw me on his back and take me out for excitement and adventure. I went out for a day hike once and was thoroughly excited for the years to come. Then something happened that was not expected. I found myself watching pack after pack being taken out of the garage and being returned with fabric still warm from sun or wet with rain. Not me though. Am I not big enough? Am I not what they wanted? The anxiety consumed me to the point of utter darkness in my soul. I was not fulfilling my potential. All that was left was to wait for the inevitable day when I would be discarded with the trash…

Then one day several years later, my owner grabbed me and placed me on the table under a bright light. They started taking my picture at different angles. After a brief moment of confusion and a quick glance at the computer, I realized I was being put on eBay. WTF?! Why would you do this to me? Get my hopes up for adventures and then eventually sell me at a low bid to some chump that will treat me the same. Disgusted and distraught I slipped deeper into oblivion. The journey in the box was as expected, very similar to the years spent in the garage; dark and noisy. To my surprise upon arrival, a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Was I being reborn? Cardboard flaps pulled back and I am dashed by a bright fluorescent light. Held high in the air by a young man, with prominent sideburns and a headset wrapped around his neck. Wearing sandals, shorts and a t-shirt with Jimi Hendrix’s face…but words below describing Bob Marley. I have been purchased by a customer service hippy with a possibly morbid and dry sense of humor. Oh the humanity! Read more…

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Ski-Guiding The Grand Teton

July 3rd, 2014

Currently based in Jackson, WY, Osprey Athlete Kim Havell started her career as an alpine ski coach in the Telluride, CO valley. From there, she gradually made the transition into freeskiing, climbing and ski mountaineering. She has been an instructor and/or guide for Ice Axe Expeditions, San Juan Outdoor School, CVA, Babes in the Backcountry, H2O Heli Guides, as well as a 12 year member of the San Miguel County Search and Rescue Team (and Advisory Board member), with medical and rescue certifications. Kim has skied on all 7 continents, with 1st descents on 4, and adventured in over 50 countries. During her travels, she has climbed and skied big peaks in the Himalaya & the Karakorum, the highest mountains across the US, with 1st descents both at home and abroad including in the Arctic and Antarctic. Kim recently became the first woman to ski-guide the Grand Teton:

 

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On June 2nd, working for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides (JHMG), Brian Warren and I summited the Grand Teton with our client, Greg Paul. Greg’s goal to ski the Grand Teton was coming true. We had made it half-way. Read more…

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The Ride

July 1st, 2014

Ted Ehrlich is a backpacker and climber that contributes to TrailGroove Magazine. More of his work can be seen on his blog Mtn Nut.

 

Monument Valley - The Ride

Why do we obsess about the destination? We hyperfocus on the goal, the trip at the end of the road, the special place that needed a special permit reserved six months in advance by the luck of a lottery draw. The plane tickets, the hotel reservations, the airport parking shuttle. It seems that we can sometimes forget the adventure and freedom of the road, forget what it’s like to explore the world in person. Living out of a car for a long road trip should be a rite of passage for Americans, young and old. Our country is so vast, one trip will never be enough, igniting fervor inside for a journey through the nation. Read more…

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#WhatsInYourFestyPack: Festy Pack Essentials

June 20th, 2014

Crystal Henson is our #WhatsInYourFestyPack winner who will receive two GA tickets to this year’s Electric Forest as well as two customized Ospreys to carry her Festy Pack Essentials! Here are a few words of wisdom from Crystal, for those of you attending Electric Forest or any Festival for that matter. 

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My festy pack embraces the sustainability practices encouraged by Electrology, and three years of first-hand experience at Electric Forest. My festy pack is an Osprey Sirrus 24 and contains around 83 items.

Read more…

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Backpacking, Conservation, contest, Events, Health, Music Festivals, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, photos, Product, Travel, Uncategorized, What's in Your Pack? , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Best of Winter

June 19th, 2014

Osprey Athlete Evan Stevens is a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, examiner and instructor for the AMGA, a member of the AMGA Board of Directors, and owner and lead guide of Valhalla Mountain Touring, a backcountry ski lodge in the Selkirks of British Columbia. Somehow he managed to do all of this whilst only escaping from the suburbs of New York City just over 10 years ago.  When not on his skis, he can be found climbing hard rock in his summer home of Squamish, BC, or trying to fire off alpine rock free ascents through out the world.  Highlights include numerous first descents in the Valhalla Range of BC, traditional rock ascents of up to 5.13, first free ascents in BC such as IV 5.12 Man of Steel in the Adamants, IV 5.12 R Lost in Space on Mt. Gimli, and speed ascents of big walls in Greenland. Besides that he is usually being humbled by his super human wife Jasmin, and trying to keep up to his dog Benny on the skin track.

 

I know it’s no longer winter, and the ski boots have officially been traded in for rock and bike shoes. In the spirit of not always looking ahead and living for the next moment, the rainy spring weather on the coast of British Columbia has given me a few days of wetness to reflect on an awesome winter.

Rather than wax on semi-poetically about the ski season and how great it was, I want to just try a different format, and go for a ‘best of’ if you will. So, no fluff, just straight to business, small blurbs and some pics and clips. Enjoy, and I hope your winter was as great as mine!

January 10, 2014, Grizzly Shoulder Tree skiing at Valhalla Mountain Touring.  This day was everything I was missing last year on the couch with a blown up ACL. It had been snowing tons, the temps were cold, and after a month on the boards I was finally getting enough confidence in the knee rebuild to start really having some fun and opening it up. There is nothing like the pure joy of flying through the cold smoke with your favorite people in the word!

 

evan stevens video jasmin caton Read more…

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Active Lifestyle, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Snowsports , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Osprey is going pro at the GoPro Mountain Games!

May 29th, 2014

GoPro Mountain Games 2014 | Osprey Packs

GoPro Mountain Games 2014 | Osprey Packs

The GoPro Mountain Games are the country’s largest celebration of adventure sports, music and the mountain lifestyle and they return to Vail, June 5-8, 2014. Over 3,000 professional and amateur athletes annually converge on the mountains and rivers of Vail to compete in 25 sports for over $110,000 in prize money. Spectating at the event is free and over 53,000 spectators annually attend for four days of athletes, art, music and mountains. A festival atmosphere engulfs Vail comprised of four expo and demo areas, nightly free concerts, an outdoor photography competition and an Outdoor Film Festival.

No matter how you get to Vail for the Summer Mountain Games, we assure you there are plenty of adventures on the way. Bring your toys, take some extra time and enjoy some of the best country in the United States. Perhaps you will end up like some of us and never leave.

2014 GoPro Mountain Games | Vail | Osprey Packs

We’re starting summer off right in Vail, CO, the weekend of June 5-8 2014 at the GoPro 2014 Mountain Games! Summer 2014 sporting events include steep, freestyle, sprint and full contact kayaking, rafting, mountain, road, and slopestyle biking, World Cup Bouldering, amateur climbing, fly fishing, stand up paddling, slackline and trail, mud and long distance running.

Here are some highlights from this year’s games: Read more…

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Active Lifestyle, Events, Mountain Games, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mt. Baker Mustache Couloir — New Ski Variation

May 21st, 2014

Mt. Baker | Osprey Athletes Andy Traslin & Mike Traslin

 

After winter finally showed its snowy face through most of February and March, a weather-window opened and we were eager to take advantage of it. It would be my first time up Mt. Baker in March, (although my 20th time summiting Baker and Andy’s 21st time) so I was keen to make the trip happen.

 

Mt. Baker | Osprey Athletes Andy Traslin & Mike Traslin Read more…

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